Simple Chicken in Red Wine

Coq au Vin, as the French call it, is nothing more than chicken casserole, but the name often implies it’s difficult to make. This simple recipe for Chicken in Red Wine is delicious and won’t take forever to make.

Ingredients (serves four)
4–6 chicken pieces on the bone
3 tablespoons butter
2 rashers thick-cut bacon
12 baby shallots
2 cups red wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 clove of garlic, chopped
bouquet garni (can be bought from your greengrocer)
12 button mushrooms
Freshly ground salt and black pepper to taste

Heat two tablespoons of butter in a heavy-bottomed, oven-ready dish. Lightly dust the chicken pieces in flour and fry until brown, then remove from pan. Cut the bacon into chunks, peel the onions and sauté in the pan until onions are browned. Remove from pan and add to the chicken pieces.

Pour the wine and stock into the pan, then add the garlic and bouquet. Season to taste and simmer until the liquid has been reduced by half. Add the mushrooms and heat through, then replace the chicken and onions, cover and place in a preheated oven for about one hour.

Remove the chicken, onions and mushrooms from the casserole dish, throw away the bouquet garni and skim off any excess fat. In a separate pan, mix one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of flour to a paste and remove from the heat. Place the casserole dish on the heat and add the flour and butter mixture a little at a time. This will thicken the sauce. Once thick enough, pour over the chicken and vegetables and serve with boiled potatoes.

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